[This blog entry is part 3 of 3 entries. If you would like to read the other two, please start here. Thanks!]
This is the revelation that sealed the deal for me. No matter how many times I may have been taught about any one particular thing, it never fails, it takes God Himself opening my mind to it for me to fully get it (see Luke 24:45). Welp, this very thing happened to me regarding righteousness.
How often have we either been called or have called someone “self-righteous”? Maybe I am speaking for myself again, but have you ever not wanted to portray yourself as self-righteous and actually joined in on something you know you shouldn’t be doing? I have. Mainly for the sake of not causing “discomfort” to others. Sounds stupid right? Just being candid. But can this also apply to things we even may deem as righteous but it isn’t righteous to God? How often have we chosen man’s righteousness over God’s righteousness and never even knew it?
So here is the revelation. There is a difference between God’s righteousness and man’s righteousness. Jesus goes into detail about this in Matthew chapter 6. For the sake of typing and time, I am going to encourage you to stop here for a moment and read that chapter. Check it out here.
Welcome back! Did you check it out? Did you find it fascinating? When I went back to this chapter after this revelation it blew my mind! Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” [it is a declaration of Adonai] “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” God is speaking to His people who have interpreted God’s ways by doing them their way. This is sin! This leavens the whole lump and produces death!
What do we do with all this? Let’s make it plain. Even in all that we may think is righteous, God’s righteousness far exceeds our own, and that is what He calls us to live by. He accepts nothing less. Man’s righteousness is wicked compared to His righteousness. Let’s ask this question again- what does His righteousness look like? Along with the apparent things in Matthew 6, it is also the things mentioned in the bold paragraph section found in my blog What It Looks Like, and False Gospels! It’s not having hate in our hearts toward our fellow humans. It’s not wanting to look upon another with lust in our hearts. It’s not coveting a really expensive car and a big house when what we have is perfectly fine. And so much more!
If He has given us His righteousness to live by, no man is able to say that he is self-righteous, because it is not his own righteousness he lives by if he truly lives by God’s righteousness. If you live according to His righteousness you will not bear His Name falsely. I claim His righteousness as my own through Messiah! Far be it from me to not live by it!
Make no mistake. We should not and can not expect the Kingdom to advance in any other way but by living His righteousness. We must bear the yoke of the Messiah in order for the things set in motion by Him to remain in motion. We must walk and live according to His way and His way alone.
I want to finish this series with a testimony.
The past year has been life-altering. I will never be the same. Early in 2019, I attended a conference called Power and Love. There were many things about the conference that I was a bit leary of, but I partook in it anyway. The worship was amazing and there is no way to deny the power of the Holy Spirit being there. I got wrecked! I found myself hungry for God again and spiritually eager to seek Him. This is what God used to spark a journey for me. First, it led to exploring the prophetic gifting. I learned a lot and actually had several moments of being able to minister prophetically. A little later in the year, I was also led to step away from the worship team at my church to enter into a season of rest.
To keep things brief, I’ll jump ahead. Ultimately, I found myself once again going down paths that I truly did not desire to take. But I took them nonetheless. Come October of 2019, I decided to start some therapy. I needed healing in some areas and therapy became absolutely necessary. Jesus walked through all of this with me! As I have healed, and coming from where I am now, I look back on the last six months in total awe of the power of God! I had been brought down low only to be reconstructed with more of His wisdom and understanding. Eventually, I got to a point where I rejected seeking all things regarding spiritual gifts except one; to learn to love as He loves. I prayed for nothing else. I expected nothing else. I wanted nothing else. Contrary to popular recommendations, I even set aside reading the Bible for a time. What good does it do anyway when you aren’t able to view it through God’s love and intentions? It does no good at all.
I just focused solely on praying and asking the Lord for the gift of love. He has been answering this prayer by working it in me slowly. I eventually started to see a difference in how I interacted with my family and the people at my job. It emboldened me to keep praying and thanking God for the gift of His love. I wanted more. He is faithful to give me more. The more I get, the more things have come in to focus not just regarding scripture, but life altogether!
Living this way hasn’t only affected me, it has also affected those around me, namely, my coworkers. One in particular, whom I will not name specifically, but would like to expound on how.
My friend and coworker is a fellow believer and has become a dear brother to me. If I’m being honest, he reminds me a lot of myself. We are similar in so many ways, as we are men who know the Lord but also aren’t perfect and are relying on Him to change us no matter how bad that change may hurt sometimes. God is an expert pride killer. My friend told me that last year he prayed for the Lord to send someone to help with some correction in his life. Fast forward to the beginning of this year, things apparently started to come to light for him via the Holy Spirit and my friend feels that this correction he prayed for is coming through me. Now pay attention! Minus maybe one or two moments of me stepping out of line during some intense discussions on theology, I have chosen to focus on purposefully walking according to what the Lord is showing me and working in me and I refuse to waver from that. I don’t think my friend would mind me saying that that is what has probably convicted him the most. Here’s what I want to make clear though. I don’t care one minute to base my decision on living like the Messiah on whether or not someone may be convicted by it or not, nor even possibly be blessed by it. My only motive is to please God in all that I do. Nothing more, nothing less. What the Lord decides to do through that is His decision. In this case, it is ministering to my friend for the use of correction. The Lord is proving to me that this is how HE advances HIS Kingdom! This is why I believe I can take absolutely no credit regarding what the Lord is doing through me when all I have done is live according to His righteousness and His will. Are there rewards for me in Heaven? I know what the word says about that, but I honestly do not care. My reward is what is already in my heart and that is both to will and to do his commandments. This is the reward I cherish the most right now. Obviously, I’ll admit that it does bless me greatly, and I am so humbled that the Lord would use me in any capacity He sees fit. Such as how He has ministered to my friend through me.
I want to encourage any believers who read these three blogs to consider praying the same prayer I mentioned above. Ask God to show you how to love as He does and as He expects us to. Set aside all other prayers temporarily if you must. My main prayer currently is that He opens the eyes of all believers! We have been blinded by deception, and make no mistake, there are plenty of things being taught from pulpits that are only keeping our eyes closed, or at best has blurred our vision. We have work to do and it may look more like just committing to living like the Messiah rather than begging people to come to church with us. We don’t need more of the blind leading the blind.
I mean it when I say I love you all! May shalom upon shalom overtake you!
-From Death To Life